Today, 3D printers are increasingly used in prototyping or in the production of components in low quantities. Additive manufacturing is a fast and cost-efficient alternative to conventional production processes.
The French standardization association AFNOR just proposed to the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) to set up a new technical committee for this field and to develop related European standards.
Innovative solutions, reasonable cost
European industry, too, increasingly uses additive manufacturing processes. The production of three-dimensional objects under computer control in a 3D printer permits extremely innovative solutions to design and manufacturing problems that could not be resolved using conventional technologies.
Innovative additive manufacturing does not rely on tools and moulds, which saves time and money and considerably reduces the cost of introducing new products. Even objects with specific properties and geometries can be personalized and still be produced economically.
European standards as a driver of economic growth
Moreover, there seem to be hardly any limits to the applications of 3D printers. And European industry is highly interested in the development of dedicated standards as is evidenced by the results of the EU research project "SASAM" (Standardization in Additive Manufacturing).
European standards on additive manufacturing are expected to promote innovation, open up new markets and boost the growth and competitiveness of European industry. To that effect, the proposed CEN/TC is to standardize basic principles and terminology, processes, test methods, quality parameters, supply contracts and environmental aspects of additive manufacturing.
At an international level, the four-part standard ISO 17296 "Additive manufacturing - General principles" was completed recently. Under the Vienna Agreement, it is to be introduced into European standardization.
If the proposed CEN/TC is set up, Committee 028 "Bearings / Tribology / Gears / Machine Tools / Tools" of Austrian Standards will function as the Austrian mirror committee.
ISO 17296 Additive Manufacturing – General principles, Parts 1 - 4